I just enjoyed a few days with my mom. She came over to visit since my girls are on spring break so I took two days off work. We saw a movie, shopped ’til we dropped (groceries and the mall), ate some M & M’s and ice cream, drank diet cokes & coffee, and just relaxed. My favorite part of the visit was when we had breakfast together at Bob Evans one morning, not because of the yummy omelet and pancake, but because of the heartfelt open conversation.
One of my mom’s famous lines when I was a teenager was “I’m your mom, so I can’t always be your friend.” In other words, “I’m laying down the law here whether you like me or not. We’re not gonna be buddies right now.” It was the right thing to do and I’ve told my girls that quite a few times myself. They just love it.
Thankfully that’s only true for a while. Once I got married and began my life with John the relationship changed a little. We were more friends than mom and daughter, though I still felt like her little girl. When I became a mom myself, all sorts of light bulbs went on in my head as I experienced the joys and trials of raising little ones. “Ohhhhh – now I see why she said that or did that.” As the years go by, I’ve become more and more comfortable just being my mom’s friend. The roles have changed. I’m not the self-centered teenager I used to be. I actually see that my mom has needs, has hurts, has things she wants and needs to talk about. She wants to share joys and answers to prayer and have me rejoice with her. It never occurred to me before when my mind was preoccupied with dating, doing my own thing, and arguing with her about curfews. I forgot that my mom and dad were people, too, not just parents. Imagine that!
As we sat and visited the other day, my eyes were opened a little bit more to the hurts my mom has trudged through and how God has ministered to her heart. My respect for her grew as she shared decisions she made with God’s help, decisions that were for the best but required deep sacrifice. I looked into her blue eyes and saw a woman who had been a girl, had been a young mom, had been a mom of teenagers, and now is nearing retirement – all the while growing closer to Jesus and more vibrant in her love for Him. Wow. How did we get here?
She spent the nights on our hide-away bed downstairs in the family room, so she got up with everyone else, made some coffee, and dished out her famous grandma hugs. She hemmed some pants for us. I know how but have been busy and lazy, to be honest. Thanks, Mom! She won over the boyfriend of one of my daughters so he was calling her “Grandma” before he left.
I got ready early this morning – time to get back to work. I couldn’t let her get up just because I was leaving when it was so early so I just sat on the edge of the hide-away in my coat, with my purse over my shoulder, to say goodbye. She was heading home today. I looked at her sleeping for a moment and said a prayer in my heart that God allows me many more years with my friend, Karon. My mom. I leaned down and kissed her cheek. Her eyes squinted open as she told me she loved me with a sleepy smile. It was almost like role reversal, I had that same comforting feeling of when she used to tuck me in and kiss my cheek, but felt maternal at the same time – like I wanted to take care of her.
I hope that my girls and I will be as close when they become adults out on their own. I count on that when we have those days, you know, when they don’t like me and I can’t be their friend.
Thank God things change and that in this journey we don’t always have to reach down to a child or up to a parent but eventually grow so that we walk side by side along the path – as friends. C’mon, Mom, let’s keep going. We still have lots to talk about!